Summit Stroll involves taking the cable car to the summit and hiking across the length of the famous tabletop before looping back to the upper station for a cable car descent.
This near-circumambulation of Table Mountain’s famous ‘Table’ covers views in every direction. The walk leads to Maclear’s Beacon, highest point on the mountain, before continuing to the unfrequented eastern edge of the summit plateau. The tour (hike) is geared towards those averse to hiking and in particular uphill.
Level terrain along a groomed path for much of the way. The trickiest section is a short descent to the top of Platteklip Gorge. The return leg along the front rim involves a short section of mild exposure to heights, but can be avoided. The main challenge is distance rather than difficult terrain, scrambling or inclines.
Summit Stroll involves negligible elevation gain and loss. The walk follows an excellent trail and traverses marshes along boardwalks. A short scramble down (and back up on the return) constitutes the only technicality.
Information & Prices
- Grade: A
- Duration: 3 hours
- Distance: 4.8 km / 3 miles
- Elevation gain: 50 meters / 160 feet
- Cost: R1200 per person
Summit Stroll is all about views and to this end we traverse the length of iconic ‘Table’ before looping back along a different trail. Setting out from the upper cable station, we are greeted with views towards the west and southwest comprising the Atlantic coast and the Twelve Apostles range. We then follow the rear rim of the plateau to obtain views towards the south: across the back of Table Mountain and down the Cape Peninsula. Arriving on the eastern edge of the mountain provide views eastwards towards the Winelands and country mountains. Finally, on the exhilarating loop back to the upper station, we enjoy superb views towards the north: the city centre, Waterfront and West Coast including Robben Island. The summit scenery comprises rock ridges, marshes and vlaktes (local mountaineering term for a small, high lying plain).
- Getting the full range of views without excessive physical effort
- Enjoying views in a peaceful environment, away from the madding crowd around the upper station
- Learning all there is to know about Table Mountain’s singular summit (and a lot about Table Mountain in general)
- Reaching the highest point on the mountain
- Experiencing the nature and solitude of the eastern edge, in stark contrast to the bustling western edge
- Required fitness level not prohibitive
- No sense of achievement from having ‘conquered’ the mountain
- Queueing at the lower cable station (avoidable through Fast Track, but more expensive)
- Susceptible to bad weather: cloud and / or strong wind cancels the hike
- Provides much more views and nature than you would get from wandering around the upper cable station precinct, like the majority of visitors.
- ‘Secret’ viewpoint on the eastern edge
- Maclear’s Beacon (highest point on the mountain)
- The Lakelet
- Pristine marshes
- Walking along what feels like the edge of the world with the city of Cape Town at your feet
Who should consider Summit Stroll?
- Older or elderly visitors
- Visitors nursing an injury (though nothing serious)
- Visitors with impaired balance or mobility (though not excessive)
- Visitors with below average fitness
- Travel-weary visitors with no time for a proper hike any other day
- Visitors who simply want to explore the iconic summit and get all-round views without breaking too much of a sweat
Who should avoid Summit Stroll?
- Visitors with an average or above average fitness
- Visitors wanting the sense of achievement gained through hiking up
- Visitors with a sense of adventure
- Outdoor enthusiasts
How fit should I be to enjoy the route?
Below average. As with all routes, the less fitness you bring to the hike, the more determination, motivation and grit you need.